Law Text Culture


In this article I discuss the ‘acquisition’ of and ‘engagement’ with common law discourse attempted by two international postgraduate law students in terms of a relationship of hospitality with language. Like hospitality, language is marked for Derrida by a structure of a ‘promise of a gift’ (Derrida 1998: 21, 66) which at the same time can never be given but is ‘always yet to come’ (Derrida 1998: 67). Nevertheless, as in hospitality, there is necessarily a sense that this gift is real, there is ‘a language’ or specific discourse (such as the discourse of common law in English) that one can ‘make oneself at home in’.